Eskom vows to keep lights on during elections

Eskom continues to cut the use of diesel for OCGTs, which is one of the most expensive ways to generate power.
Eskom continues to cut the use of diesel for OCGTs, which is one of the most expensive ways to generate power.

Cape Town - Eskom assured South Africans on Wednesday that despite severe weather conditions it is  committed to ensuring a continuous electricity supply during elections.

Snow Report SA warned on Tuesday of yet another expected cold front to hit the country from the south-western side on Wednesday. 

Election Day Weather Update: Brace for snow, rain, wind and fire

Fin24's sister publication Traveller24 reported both the SA Weather Service and Snow Report SA have forecast that snowfall can be expected across the high-lying areas of the country from early on Wednesday morning, with the arrival of a cold front. 

Eskom said in a statement on Wednesday its generation performance has stabilised and it is ensuring that power supply remains unconstrained through its maintenance programme. Eskom has managed to stave off load shedding for close to a year now.

The state-owned power firm said it was able to meet the demand for electricity during last week's cold snap without having to use the costly open cycle gas turbines (OCGT).

"The cold front stress-tested Eskom’s resilience this week," it said over the weekend as the highest peak of the week last Wednesday hit 34 819MW. This was met with a capacity of 38 679MW without the use of OCGTs, as Eskom's generation availability was 4 000MW higher in 2016 than in 2015 during the annual peak, the power utility said.

Eskom said on Wednesday it had worked hard to restore and stabilise the electricity distribution network around the country, and remained committed in ensuring that customers have a continuous supply of electricity.

Eskom said it has developed a three-pronged approach to recover, stabilise and improve the performance of the electricity network.

It urged customers to report electrical faults at the Eskom Contact Centre on 08600 37566 (24hrs) or text (SMS) their query and account number / meter number to 35328 (Elect).

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